San Francisco Airport security screeners charged with complicity in drug-smuggling

SFO_international_terminal (1)

Three screeners working for Covenant Aviation Security -- the TSA contractor that provides government-funded genital massages at SFO -- have been arrested for alleged participation in a scheme to smuggle "real and simulated cocaine" onto planes. Read the rest

TSA says it will sue woman who tried to bring apple butter on plane


In 2003, the TSA fined Mary Hostein of Michigan for trying to take a a jar of apple butter through airport security.

When an agent told Hostein that the spread was a liquid, and therefore subject to the TSA's 3-ounce limit, she went to another line to see if the TSA agent stationed there was just as stupid as the first. He was, and Hostein was issued a $2,000 fine. She doesn't think she should pay it. The TSA says they are going to sue her.

Read the rest

3D print your own TSA Travel Sentry keys and open anyone's luggage


Watch this video on The Scene.

The TSA mandates that all checked luggage must be locked with a deliberately flawed lock that can be opened with one of a handful of skeleton keys that are supposed to be kept secret. It's been more than a year since the TSA allowed a newspaper photographer to print a high-rez photo of its universal luggage-lock keys, allowing any moderately skilled locksmith to create her own set. Ars Technica downloaded a set of key STL files from Github, printed them on a consumer 3D printer, and showed that they could gain entry to any luggage.

It's a model for what happens with any kind of law-enforcement/public safety back door: the universal keys leak and there's no way to re-key all those locks out there in the field. The FBI and UK security services are calling for backdoors in all crypto -- the code we use to protect everything from pacemakers to bank accounts. This is as neat an illustration of why that's a bad idea as you could ask for. Read the rest

Make your own TSA universal luggage keys

The image above, published in 2014 in this story and credited to The Washington Post, showed the keying patterns for all of the TSA-complaint "Travel Sentry" luggage locks. Read the rest

New pornoscanners are also useless, cost $160 million

The new generation of millimeter-wave body scanners from the convicted war-criminals at L-3 were supposed to replace the useless, expensive backscatter radiation machines from Rapiscan with a more robust, less privacy invasive alternative. Read the rest

TSA Behavioral Detection Program's awful newsletter mocks travellers' worries

The bi-monthly BDO Newsletter serves America's Phightin' Phrenologists as they decide whose lives to screw with based on a $1 billion junk-science boondoggle. Read the rest

TSA supervisor calls police on teen for videoing his father's pat-down

A 16-year-old boy was prohibited from video-recording his own pat-down at New Orleans airport -- something explicitly allowed by the TSA -- and when he recorded his father's pat-down, the TSA supervisor at his checkpoint called the police on him. Read the rest

Federal gov't doesn't trust TSA enough to inform it of airline employees with links to terrorism.

According to a recently-released Government Accountability Office report, the "TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting policy." The federal government doesn't place enough trust in its own anti-terrorism administration to give it a list of people with terrorism-related category codes employed by airlines and airport vendors.

"Without complete and accurate information, TSA risks credentialing and providing unescorted access to secure airport areas for workers with potential to harm the nation's air transportation system," the report found.

Image: "Line up here for your free government-issued genital massage." Shutterstock Read the rest

TSA airport checkpoints STILL miss 95% of weapons in smuggling tests

As has been the case since the agency's inception, its agents missed the overwhelming majority of "red team" attempts to smuggle weapons past its checkpoints: 67 out of 70 this time. Read the rest

Encryption backdoors are like TSA luggage-locks for the Internet

In my new Guardian column, I look at UK Prime Minister David Cameron's election pledge to eliminate strong crypto and point out that we already have a forerunner of this in the "TSA-safe" luggage locks -- and it's a disaster. Read the rest

TSA trained Disney World's plainclothes in its voodoo "terrorism detection" methods

SPOT, the TSA's billion dollar "behavioral detection" mind-reading program, is now apparently in use at Walt Disney World, Seaworld and other Florida attractions. Read the rest

Airport workers, including TSA, raid unlockable luggage for valuables

Airport stings keep catching insiders pilfering millions of dollars worth of passenger property from bags that can no longer be effectively locked, thanks to a TSA rule that insists on luggage being equipped with locks that are all vulnerable to the same passkey. Read the rest

Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells

The ACLU is suing the TSA to get the details of its billion-dollar junk-science "behavioral detection" program, but in the meantime, here's the leaked 92-point checklist the TSA's psychic warriors use to spot bad guys. Read the rest

ACLU sues TSA to make it explain junk science "behavioral detection" program

The TSA refuses to explain how it spent $1B on a discredited "behavioral detection" program that led airport authoritarians to believe that when they racially profiled fliers, it was because they'd acquired the superpower of spotting guilty people through their "microexpressions." Read the rest

Philly TSA supervisor Charles Kieser sent a traveller to jail for asking to file a complaint

After sending Roger Vanderklok for jail for the audacity of asking to file a complaint, Philadelphia International Airport TSA supervisor Charles Kieser then lied about what happened on the stand in court. He fabricated an aggressive confrontation and a bomb threat, neither of which are in evidence on the CCTV footage or in the police report. His victim was help incommunicado in jail, panicking his wife who had no idea where he'd gone. Kieser gets to keep his job.

Read the rest

Former TSA officer reveals widespread misery there

Image: Shutterstock

Being a TSA officer is a dream job for sadistic sociopaths, but for people who are able to sympathize, it's a nightmare. "I hated it from the beginning," writes former TSA officer Jason Edward Harrington, in an essay published in Politico Magazine. He recounts the daily shame of having to confiscate nail clippers from pilots (to prevent the pilots from using them to "hijack the very planes they were flying"), jars of homemade apple butter ("on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security") and a bottle of champagne from some Marines returning home from Afghanistan who wanted to share it with a young soldier who'd lost his legs to an I.E.D. Read the rest

Buy your own TSA-surplus pornoscanner for $8K

Remember when the TSA spent $113K on Rapiscan pornoscanners that turned out not to work? Now they're selling them off for $8,000. Read the rest

More posts